Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Ted Leonsis is founder, chairman, principal partner and chief executive officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. MSE owns and operates the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, AFL’s 2018 Arena Bowl Champion Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade, NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go, NBA2K League’s Wizards District Gaming (NBA2K) and Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, DC. The partnership operates MedStar Capitals Iceplex, the Washington Capitals’ training facility and front office headquarters, and George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena. MSE is also co-owner of aXiomatic, which has controlling interest in global esports franchise Team Liquid. Mr. Leonsis is co-executive chairman of aXiomatic.
MSE -- a sports, entertainment, media and technology company -- was formed in June 2010 and serves a thriving regional sports community. It is the only privately-held company in a top-10 market to own and operate seven professional sports teams and an arena.
The company also owns Monumental Sports Network, a first-of-its-kind regional sports network for digital, mobile and over-the-top platforms that allows users to access content whenever and wherever they want.
MSE and NBC Sports Washington, part of the NBC Sports Group, have developed an advanced media partnership that includes NBCSW’s exclusive media rights to the Capitals and Wizards, and saw MSE become an equity partner in NBCSW. NBC Sports Group has also invested in Monumental Sports Network, creating a cross-equity leadership structure.
As part of a joint venture with the DC Mayor’s Office and Events DC, Monumental unveiled a brand-new sports and entertainment facility in Southeast DC on the St. Elizabeths East campus, which opened in the Fall of 2018. The new venue and basketball facility includes a practice court for the Wizards and serves as the Mystics and Go-Go home court. The arena is part of the St. Elizabeths East Campus redevelopment and is expected to generate significant expansion of arts, cultural, entertainment and civic programming. This project is designed to be a catalyst for new opportunities in Ward 8 and citywide and create a destination for residents and visitors.
Mr. Leonsis serves on the Board of Governors for the NBA and NHL as well as on the Executive Committee of the NHL. He is also chairman of the NBA media committee.
Revolution and Venture Capital Investor
Mr. Leonsis is a co-founder and partner at Revolution Growth, which invests speed-up capital in businesses outside of Silicon Valley that are leveraging technology and new models to disrupt existing, multi-billion dollar industries. The firm makes a select group of investments each year, typically investing $25-50 million per deal, and invests in some of the economy’s largest sectors including sports, media, entertainment and education technologies, transportation, energy, financial services, food and government services. Investments include companies such as Sportradar USA, DraftKings, Bedrock Manufacturing (parent company of Shinola and Filson), Resonate, Optoro, CustomInk, Cava and sweetgreen. He also serves on the boards of several public companies ranging from American Express to Groupon.
He also has made investments and owned equity in numerous companies, including Google, AOL, Revolution Money, AddThis, Preview Travel (Travelocity), GridPoint, Inside.com, MobilePosse, ObjectVideo, Vox Media, Zedge, Triporati, Personal, I-Village, Proxicom, Cricket Media, MediaBank, Two Harbors, Algentis, Social Radar and Forbes’ Travel Guide.
Filmmaker and Digital Entrepreneur
Mr. Leonsis created and produced the award-winning film “Nanking.” The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Documentary Editors Award. The film went on to win a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award. The film was distributed theatrically, appeared on HBO and is one of the most viewed documentaries of all time because of its wide distribution in theater and on television throughout China. Mr. Leonsis also produced the documentary film “Kicking It,” which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and aired on ESPN. He then produced “A Fighting Chance,” which aired on ESPN in 2010. In 2013 he produced “Lost for Life,” a documentary that explores juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to life without parole. “Lost for Life” was broadcast in 58 countries in 2014 and garnered both critical acclaim and ratings success. Most recently he produced the documentary “We the People: The Market Basket Effect,” which aired on Pivot and iTunes and was released theatrically.
Mr. Leonsis is founder and chairman of ViewLift, a full-service content distribution platform for the web, OTT and mobile, which empowers media companies, sports leagues and teams, education providers and others to monetize their content through native branded apps on every major digital device. ViewLift offers a complete end-to-end solution for creating, launching and monetizing video applications across 28 device platforms, including mobile, over-the-top, connected TV and game consoles. Mr. Leonsis also is the founder, chairman and largest shareholder in SnagFilms, which has more than 5,000 movies, TV show episodes, documentaries and original comedy shorts in its free, online digital library.
Through the Leonsis Foundation, his sports teams, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, SnagFilms and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Leonsis supports hundreds of charities each year. In 2015 Mr. Leonsis was named chairman of the board of DC-CAP (District of Columbia College Access Program), which is dedicated to encouraging and enabling DC public high school students to enroll in and graduate from college.
Other highlighted charities and causes include Best Buddies, DC Central Kitchen, See Forever Foundation, Venture Philanthropy Partners, Street Soccer USA, YouthAIDS, GlobalGiving.org, College Success Foundation - District of Columbia, Potomac School, Georgetown University, Children’s Hospital, Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association, Salvation Army Angle Tree, Alliance for Lupus Research, Serve DC, Fort Dupont Ice Arena and Ice Hockey Club, USO of Metropolitan Washington, Capital Area Food Bank, Flashes of Hope, Inova Health System Foundation, UNICEF, obesity prevention and numerous local schools and cancer research and awareness programs.
As the former vice chairman of Washington 2024, Mr. Leonsis assumed a leading role in guiding the region’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. In June 2014, the United States Olympic Committee identified Washington and three other cities as potential locations.
During his almost 14-year career at AOL, Mr. Leonsis served as president of America Online Services Company, president of AOL Studios, president of AOL Web Properties, vice chairman and president of AOL Core Services, vice chairman and president of AOL Audience Business and vice chairman emeritus. The company recorded its greatest levels of innovation and growth under his leadership, and in May 2010 AOL named a central office tower The Leonsis Creative Center in his honor. Mr. Leonsis retired from active management of AOL in 2006.
Mr. Leonsis has authored numerous books, including “Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM PC” and “The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life.”
• Blogs regularly at Ted’s Take (TedsTake.com)
• Previously served a 12-year term on the board of directors at Georgetown University
• Coined term “filmanthropy” to signify films that shine a light on important topics and activate charitable giving (2006)
• Created a 101-item life-list following an early 1980s reckoning and has checked off 83 of the 101 things to do
• Founded the first new media company: Redgate Communications in 1986
• Coined the phrase “New Rules – New Media” in 1987
• Co-invented successful board game “Only in New York” (1983)
• Founded six personal computer magazines between 1981 and 1988
• Served as mayor of Orchid, Fla. (1990-94)
Awards and Honors
• Emmy Award
• Peabody Award
• Sports Business Journal 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business
• Washington Business Man of the Year
• Washington CEO of the Year
• Washingtonian of the Year
• Georgetown University John Carroll Award
• United States Sports Academy Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award
• Greater Washington Urban League Unsung Philanthropist Award
• TAPS Engaged Philanthropist Award
• Tech Council of Maryland Lifetime Achievement Award
• Northern Virginia Technology Council Hall of Fame Award
• Top 10 Creative Executives in America
• Top 20 Most Powerful People in Sports
• Lowell (Mass.) High School Alumni Hall of Fame